Nicholas Cairns


Artist Statement

The figure is the starting point and lodestone for my work. Divorced from explicit narrative context or traditional portraiture, the figure can become an open-ended format for discovery, a jumping off point that allows for virtually limitless variation and invention. My paintings draw from a particular strain of artistic thought that focuses on the primacy of psyche or ‘presence’ in the work, the creation of which provides meaning for, and sense of relation to, the work. In confrontation with the past and articulated through the lenses of history, mythology, religion, literature, and ultimately, the uncertain nature of the human condition, my work strives for a median between the hieratic and the intuitive/expressive.

Through a number of means, from brushed and drawn line and tone to intentional and associative ‘accidental’ applications of paint, my paintings suggest heads and figures that are often revealed only partially or in a fragmented state. In some paintings, single figures and heads are captured in an unsettled state of deformation and reformation, while in others, multiple figures are implied, overlapping and ambiguous, inextricably bound together.

Nicholas Cairns’s Website

Thanks to iheartmyart for finding this artist!




  • z

    i liked pic 6,8,9,10